Parental Responsibility and God’s Involvement
Parental Responsibility is God’s Idea
Parental responsibility is not the invention of men. From the time of creation God delegated the responsibility of governing to man.
Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Later we find that God gave the responsibility of governing the home to parents.
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
This is seen in the command to leave father and mother and at the point of cleaving to a wife, a new home is established. Inherent in this leaving and cleaving is the idea of a new home and new responsibility is established.
This authority is further expounded in Deuternomy 6:6-9
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Here God explicitly instructs parents that they are responsible to instruct their children.
Parental Responsibility is NOT the only Authority
Other authorities in Scripture are civil government…
Romans 13:1-2 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
And the Lord’s churches…
Heb. 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Parental Responsibility and Struggling with Submission
Ever since the fall man has struggled with obeying authorigy and people in authority have struggled with weilding that authority in a proper and godly manner.
Reasons for Rejecting Authority
Many reasons exist for rejecting authority…among them are…
- Having been hurt by someone in authority in the past.
- Having witnessed corruption and misuse of authority
- Having experienced someone in authority exercising that authority in a selfish manner
- Seeing the walk not match the talk of one in authority
But none of this has taken God by surprise. When He gave the command to those under authority to respect and obey, He was wise enough to know such misuse of authority would happen.
Seeing Mercy and Authority Together
Therefore we must understand God’s perspective of authority
Exodus 34:6-7 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
Here we see both the mercy and the wrath of God. Though we may find it difficult to put thse two qualities together, we dare not sparate them.
This is how God has revealsed His character to us.
If we separate these qualities we err and will have a dsistorted image of God.
God’s Authority and Parental Responsibility
And if we distort God’s image, we will have a wrong perspective of authority in general, and parenting in particular.
When Adam and Eve dispbeyed God in the Garden of Eden, God did not immediately destroy mankind. But He gently and mercifully interacted with Adam and Eve to bring them to a place of repentance and of forgiveness.
He even provided the sacrifice to pay for their disobedience.
I am not saying that God does not express wrath, but that though He is the abosolute judge, He does intervene to keep us from judgement and bring us back to Him in mercy.
This love of God is the best picture of parental responsibility in dealing with our children.
We are to see the infractions, but work to restore our children to a proper understanding and action.
There are many lessons we can learn if we will take the time to examine the character and actions of Our God. His wielding of authority becomes the pattern for fathers and mothers as we look to express our role in parental responsibility.